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extending range of router

Discussion in 'TUG Lounge' started by Joyce, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. Joyce

    Joyce TUG Member

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    i am using an Xfinity dual band 802.11 ac 2.4 routerThe signal must go through 3 walls, a closet, a stairway and a set of glass sliding doors to get to the deck. That is approximately 60 feet, as the crow flies. The reception for my iPad or iPhone on the deck is sporadic. I purchased a Lynsksys Max Stream range extender to see if that would boost the signal. After setting up the range extender I got weak signals everywhere in the house except for about 20 feet away from the router. That does not help the problem. I know I can use my data but hate to do that when I am home. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. Cornell

    Cornell TUG Member

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    I purchased a Google mesh network and this solved all of my issues that you are experiencing. I have three floors and keep one device on each floor and I have good wifi everywhere now.
     
    cp73, EZ-ED, geist1223 and 1 other person like this.
  3. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    The construction of the walls can make a huge difference in what signal strength you'll get. Consider moving the router to the most central location, and using the range extender beyond that, with a clear line of sight connection. Water pipes, furnace ducts, and electrical wiring can mess things up. Also, make sure the range extender is connecting to the router on the 2.4ghz connection. 5ghz connections don’t have as much range.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  4. PigsDad

    PigsDad TUG Member

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    I concur with Cornell of looking into a mesh wifi router system. The problem with range extenders is that it does not "hand off" your device from one access point to the next based on which signal is stronger. Once your device connects to one access point (either your main router or the extender), your device will continue using that connection until the connection is completely lost. So even it it has a marginal connection, it will hang onto it even if performance is low.

    On the other hand, a mesh system actively hands off your device to the access point with the best signal. So as you walk from one part of the house to another, it will automatically switch you to the better signal instead of hanging onto your first connection.

    I recently did my own investigation on mesh systems, and I concluded that Eero (www.eero.com) would be the system that would work best for me. The Google system was toward the top of my list as well.

    Kurt
     
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  5. Cornell

    Cornell TUG Member

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    Additionally...these mesh network devices are aesthetically pleasing compared to traditional routers. If that matters to you :) It does to me.
     
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  6. GetawaysRus

    GetawaysRus TUG Member

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    I also tried an extender, but it was inadequate.

    After some web research, I purchased a Ubiquiti AmpliFi mesh router. This worked for us.

    We live in a large 2 story home. The cable signal comes in on the upper floor on one end of the house.
     
  7. jjking42

    jjking42 TUG Member

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  8. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Eero is excellent.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  9. bbodb1

    bbodb1 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    And don't forget that books are a natural inhibitor of wireless signals as well!
     
  10. isisdave

    isisdave TUG Member

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    If you have a multi-story home, consider putting the router/access point on the upper floor, in the "middle" of the desired downstairs area. One floor/ceiling is often less of a barrier than a couple of walls. Ditto on sticking to 2.4 GHz.

    I've always gotten away, when traveling, on just a simple range extender. Try various places, including up high if you can.
     
  11. bogey21

    bogey21 TUG Member

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    Would buying a Verizon JetPack MiFi and carrying it with you into the room where you need to connect work? I have one. It works well and it is the size of a pack of cigarettes...

    George
     
  12. SmithOp

    SmithOp TUG Member

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    I would replace the main router, it sounds like its provided by your ISP and they probably charge you a monthly fee for it. I have Spectrum but use my own router, I had them turn off the wifi in the cable modem.

    I find it strange that you said the connection got worse when you added the extender, it should not have conflicted with the router.

    I use a high power router dual band in a 2 story home and have no problem anywhere in the house or out on the back patio. The router is near the front door next to the cable modem and TV. My son has xbox on 2nd floor for gaming and video streaming no problem, wife uses ipad to watch ip tv in the master, and I watch netflix on ipad on the patio. Lots of video streaming all over the house with no issues. We use the 5G band, it has better speed test than 2.4G. The service is 50MB cable from Spectrum.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
  13. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    FYI, Spectrum now provides the modem for free. I also wasn’t aware when this changed until I had a problem with my own modem (intermittent disconnects) and even the tech didn’t know if the issue was the modem but after an hour he asked me if it was okay to put in a new modem... had I known I would have simply gone to their local office and obtained one myself. And yes, I also have them turn off WiFi (which is the new way of asking for bridge mode) so I can use my own router.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  14. taterhed

    taterhed TUG Member

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    Uhm....a few thoughts:

    Range extenders will extend your range....at the cost of 1/2 your speed/through-put (or more, depending). They are the worst solution usually.

    Mesh routers work great....unless you are in a high-interference environment. If you don't know how to diagnose this.....your only choice is to buy/return if it doesn't work. Keep in mind, not all mesh-routers are easy to setup and use. Do your homework.

    Some ISP routers are great. Some are awful. Without the specs, settings and 'environmental' data for your equipment and installation, we can't know whether you've got a crap router, a crap installation or a 'busy' signal area that has interference from the other 12 Xfinity routers in your immediate area. (really)

    I have a very spread-out, multi-floor, concrete/metal house with installation/reception issues (like you maybe...) I installed a wired router at the modem/entry point, and then used my wired cat-5 to distribute the "Full speed" signal to wi-fi and wired routers at different corners/floors of the house as needed. You just set-up the routers as AP's and give them all the same SSID/PW. Works great. You can also use them as individual (not AP, not mesh) wi-fi routers in the same scheme.

    If you have NO way to get cat-5 from the entry point to a convenient spot for a wifi router, then I'd look at a mesh set-up.....and consider having it installed. Or, try it yourself and then, if it fails, have it installed.

    YMMV. goood luck.

    Best mesh Wi-Fi routers 2019: the best wireless mesh systems for large homes
    1. Google Wifi. The best Wi-Fi Mesh system from the future. ...
    2. Netgear Orbi. Expensive, but powerful. ...
    3. TP-Link Deco M5. The affordable Wi-Fi Meshoption. ...
    4. Ubiquiti Amplifi HD. Style backed by power. ...
    5. Linksys Velop. Paying for simplicity.
    Jan 11, 2019
    Best mesh Wi-Fi routers 2019: the best wireless mesh systems for ...

    https://www.techradar.com/news/best-wireless-mesh-routers
     
  15. SmithOp

    SmithOp TUG Member

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    Correct, they do charge me for the TV receiver and DVR service but there isn’t a separate charge for the cable modem. The modem is as big as the tv receiver and includes the VOIP phone and wifi features. This new ad in my bill for faster internet seems to indicate they charge $5/month for wifi.

    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
  16. EZ-ED

    EZ-ED TUG Member

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    Another vote for the Google router. I only needed one and it is more powerful distance wise than the Cisco router it replaced and setup was a breeze. It currently has 17 devices connected and no problems or slowdowns.
     
  17. taterhed

    taterhed TUG Member

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    Good to hear on the 'easy setup'

    Some of the Mesh routers are/were very finicky until they are all sync'd up. With some, you had to start close and move them further out after the sync is established or they get wonky.
    note: I don't have experience with any of the latest models, just the early ones which were problematic at times.
     
  18. Joyce

    Joyce TUG Member

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    Thanks, everyone, for all the info. I will start with getting a new router from Comcast. If that does not work I will go with the mesh networking. I can always count on TUG to get solutions to problems!
     
  19. BobDE

    BobDE TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I also have a Comcast router. I have been using the Netgear AC1900 for a couple of years. They had a free software upgrade to make it a mesh system. We could not get the internet out by the pool, but now we can get it anywhere and the signal is strong.
     
  20. PigsDad

    PigsDad TUG Member

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    Just FYI, some mesh router systems include the ability to hardwire all access points, so you get the best of both worlds: no wireless bandwidth is used to sync the Access Points so no loss of speed, and all APs work together, managed by a single interface, and will automatically hand off from one AP to another when you are walking around so you are always using the AP with the strongest signal. Systems like this have been used in commercial / office installation for years, but residential versions have become affordable and have been gaining popularity in the last few years.

    Eero was one of these systems, so that is why it was at the top of my list. I tried the main router with APs set to the same SSID/PW, and while that works fine for devices that either are not mobile or only used in one location for a session (like using a laptop in one location for that session), but that doesn't work well when you walk from one area to another area with your device as it does not automatically pass off the connection until the weaker connection is completely lost.

    Kurt
     
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